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NEWS IN BRIEF

29 Jul 04. Rolls-Royce Plc (London:RR.L – News) met forecasts for an 18 percent rise in first-half profit on Thursday, helped by cost cuts and a lucrative after-sales business as the civil aerospace market recovers. The world’s second-largest maker of aircraft engines stuck with guidance for higher 2004 earnings and debt reduction as the company’s order book ended the period at a record level, benefiting from recovering demand for new planes. Pretax profit for the six months to June 30 was 136 million pounds. “Our order book, continuing progress with cost reduction initiatives and our performance on profit and average net debt in the first half, support our guidance for the full year,” Chief Executive John Rose said. The result was underpinned by growth in the after-sales market for spares and maintenance which made up 55 percent of the company’s sales. Aftermarket sales rose 16 percent to £1.5bn and average net debt for the period was £550mcompared to £895m in the prior period. (Source: Reuters)

28 Jul 04. Finmeccanica announced that definitive agreements had been signed with GKN for the proposed acquisition of GKN’s 50% stake in AgustaWestland for £1,001.5m. Finmeccanica will also acquire real estate assets owned by GKN and used by AgustaWestland for £62m (making a total of £1,063.5m). £35m of the agreed sum is to be held in escrow and repaid to Finmeccanica if a Future Lynx contract has not been awarded to AgustaWestland by the UK MoD, in two specified stages, by 31 May 08. Completion of the transaction is expected by the end of 2004. Comment: Finmeccanica and GKN agreed to combine their helicopter businesses on 26 Jul 00 and AgustaWestland became fully operational on 12 Feb 01. GKN and Finmeccanica announced agreement in principle for the above transaction on 26 May 04. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS Issue 04/30, 2 Aug 04).

29 Jul 04. EDO Corporation (NYSE: EDO – News) recorded revenue of $126.3m in the second quarter of 2004, up $14.6m or 13.0 percent from the $111.7m recorded in the second quarter of 2003. Net earnings for the quarter were $4.2 million, or $0.23 per diluted share, versus a loss of $0.2 million, or ($0.01) per share, for the second quarter of 2003. For the six-month period ended June 26, 2004, revenue was $237.2m, up $31.1m or 15.1 percent from the $206.1m recorded in the first half of 2003. Net earnings for the first half of 2004 were $8.0m, or $0.45 per diluted share, versus $2.8m, or $0.16 per diluted share, for the same period last year.

27 Jul 04. Electronic Data Systems, the information technology outsourcing group, has slashed its quarterly dividend from 15 cents to 5 cents a share in an effort to conserve cash. The troubled Texas-based company is in the middle of a restructuring exercise following problems with a number of large outsourcing contracts. Moody’s Investors Service, the credit rating agency, earlier this month cut EDS’s rating below investment, citing a slower than expected turnaround and weak cash flow. EDS disputed that decision.The cut will save EDS about $50m a quarter. The company had said that the board was considering a divided reduction. (Source: FT)

05 Aug 04. ATK (NYSE: ATK – News) reported earnings per share for the first quarter of fiscal year 2005 of 72 cents. Earnings for the current quarter include a charge of 9 cents per share for previously announced restructuring and related facility closure costs, and pension expense amounting to 10 cents per share versus pension expense of 6 cents per share last year. The prior year’s earnings of 84 cents per share included a curtailment gain of 11 cents per share resulting from restructuring employee benefit plans. Sales for the first quarter, which ended July 4, rose 15 percent to $644m from $559m a year ago. The increase was driven by organic growth in a number of programs, including commercial and military ammunition, rocket propellant, electronic missile warning systems, and propulsion systems for the Space Sh

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